Sweet and luscious, ripe and ready, fresh figs make me happy, just to see them. Chopped up and baked into this fresh fig pie? They deliver easy joy to you and your family and friends! You will love this simple sweet figgy treat!
I Love Fresh Fig Pie!
I love figs in every form: Fresh and dried, in preserves, in jam, and in chutney. I even love the figgy filling in those classic squared-up cookies that showed up in my elementary school lunch box, tucked in among the celery sticks, apple wedges, and my peanut butter & jelly sandwich on very soft, flavor-free white bread. My mother didn’t make fresh fig pie, but her mother’s generation certainly did, and I’m here to restore this old-school dessert to its place of glory!
Figs in the Southern USA
Figs thrive throughout the American South We love eating them ripe and sun-warmed from the tree in summertime. What’s left after we and the birds have all had our often goes into jams and whole fig preserves, either of which can be the foundation for Ocracoke Isalnd Fig Cake with Buttermilk Glaze. Most common where I live in Piedmont North Carolina are brown turkey figs, petite and sweet and in love with high summertime heat.
Mission Figs: Bluish-Purple Jewels of Flavor
For my pie I used mission figs, gorgeously colored purple, blue, brown, and black. Purchased at a local supermarket. these black mission figs range in size from petite teardrops to luscious baubles you will find it difficult not to eat before filling your pie.
Get a good supply, more than you need for your pie, so you can enjoy them as is, or with a little goat cheese or herbed cheese, or drizzled with honey and paired with walnuts or pecans. Finger food! Don’t worry if you find different varieties of figs — any fresh ripe figs will work fine.
What’s the Story on Figs in the Big Wide World?
When we say something is old here in the USA, we mean buildings dating back to the early 1700’s which still survive. In Lyon, we stood in a stone structure built a few years after 1200 BCE. But figs? They go way back. WAY BACK! Here’s a quick backgrounder on their origins: Some facts on figs.
Fig Jam & Preserves: Secret Ingredients in Fig Pie’s cousin, Fig Cake
Traditionally, Southern baking recipes have called for preserved figs or fig jam as the source for fig cakes and other fig treats. My guess is that during the hottest days of summer and early fall when figs are ripening, home cooks were quite busy enough with the home garden, canning, preserving, and cooking and eating out of the garden. No need to come up with extra ways to use fresh figs when eating them up or preserving them for the colder months took care of the supply.
I love fig cake, and was surprised to learn in researching my cookbook Southern Cakes, that it is made with fig preserves or fig jam, rather than fresh figs. I fig-ured (sorry, could not resist) that a classic fruit pie with some sugar for sweetness and juiciness and some flour to thicken it would come out wonderfully, and indeed it does. I made one and posted about it HERE a few years back. It’s wonderful and simple to make, with the beauty of ripe figs to enjoy as you put it together.
Mission figs, trimmed of their little stems and halved or very coarsely chopped. They cook down nicely so big chunks are fine.
Rolled out and ready for the good stuff!
Figs gently tossed with sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, added to the piecrust and dotted with butter. I love that term: Dot with Butter. Old-timey recipe words.
Checking to see if this fresh fig pie is done….and it is!
You can see my highly decorative “F” poked into the crust, but you may not know what it is, since a little fountain of delicious syrup flowed up and out above it. That is not a problem, that is a blessing! If you’re partial to single crust pies, consider my Sweet Corn Custard Pie, which eases us from summer to fall, beautifully.
The crust is nicely done, and I adore the filling oozing out of the piecrust, with the tiny fig seeds on display. Because I have a gas oven rather than an electric one, baked and roasted foods don’t brown quite as much as I would like.
When I think of it and have time, I often glaze my pie crusts with jam, a pro-tip I learned working at a wholesale bakery once upon a time. Warm up some apricot jam or peach jam, thinned with a little water, and brush all over the piecrust using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon. Below is my glazed pie.
No surprise to say that vanilla ice cream or whipped cream go wonderfully with any pie.
Now about Pie Dough:..
For this Fresh Fig Pie post, I’ve started the recipe with instructions for you to have two sheets of piecrust ready. You could make it if you already know how and like to; or you could buy it at the grocery store in the refrigerated cases where the canned biscuits, butter, and eggs can be found.
BUT you may want to know about pie dough and how to make it. So here are two things: a VIDEO in which Stella Parks shows us how she makes a great pie dough by hand and fast.
And a feature on Serious Eats HERE in which you’ll find another video with Pastry Chef and Food Writer Parks making the same dough, along with the recipe you saw her make in the first video. Enjoy! And now, back to fresh fig pie!
Final Fig Pie Musings:
This recipe makes a thick filling, without an excess of juice. It may be the nature and texture of figs, as compared to peaches and berries. It’s more like an apple pie, with the filling content to stay inside the crust, slicing almost like a cake. I may play with this and add less flour or some juice to see if I could get things a little bit saucier.
Gooey is the word I am looking for here. Do you see what I’m up to here? I am dreaming up excuses to make another fresh fig pie! You could also make my Coconut Ice Cream recipe to go along with it. It happens to be vegan, and it happens to be delicious and delightful. But not necessary: this pie stands alone, too.
Fresh Fig Pie to Welcome Fall
Fresh figs and a piecrust are about all you need for this satisfying pie. To prepare the figs, trim away their tiny stems and cut them lengthwise in half or into quarters. Big chunks work best, so use a knife, not a food processor for this job. I think combinations of fruit would be wonderful. If you come up with one, let me know. I’m thinking figs and peaches; or pears; or apples; or bananas…..
- Pastry for a double-crust pie
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups very coarsely chopped fresh ripe figs, halved or quartered lengthwise ( 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or cider vinegar or white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt, and stir with a fork to mix well.
- In a medium bowl, combine the figs and the sugar-flour mixture, and toss gently to mix them evenly. Pour the figs into the piecrust, and mound them up toward the center in to a little pile. Pour lemon juice over the figs, and dot with the bits of butter.
- Cover with the top crust and press the sides together to seal them well. Trim and fold the edges under firmly; then crimp to seal the pie, or press the edges down with the tines of a fork to seal them and make a pretty design. Use a fork or a knife to make steam vents so that steam and juicy filling can escape as the pie cooks.
- Place in the 400 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the filling is thick and juicy and bubbling out around the top of the pie, and until the crust is golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. *Transfer to a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
If you’d like to give your piecrust a handsome brown sheen, you can brush it lightly all over with apricot or peach jam. Still warm pie is the easiest, but room temperature pie will work nicely too. In a very small saucepan or a small microwave safe bowl, combine 1/3 cup of jam with 2 tablespoons of water. Heat gently, on the stove or in the microwave, until the jam softens and stir well to incorporate the water. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the pastry crust with an even layer of thinned jam. It should be a little shiny and lightly, pleasingly colored.
Do you think I could use this recipe to make hand pies? I want to be able to share ; ) The hand pie recipes I’ve found online are more complicated than I’d like. This looks delicous! I know I’d need to bake less. Any tips or even, “No! Don’t do it” ; ) would be greatly appreciated!
Yes I think hand pies would work but you are correct that adaptation will be important. First, chop the figs smaller than they are in the photos. A good coarse chop, down to maybe 1.2 inch bits? Hand pie filling needs to be closer to jam in texture than to juicy syrupy lush fruit pie filling because you have no fork, no spoon, and gravity longing to invite filling out and onto laps, instead of ensconced inside the pastry. The proportion of pastry to filling will be higher because of that need to make it portable and hand-held-able. SO don’t fill them too full === less is more here. You can experiment and see how much you can get in there — love the filling and want to share it, but it needs to be like jam on toast, not cobbler in a bowl with spoons to mediate. Finally, get the filling into the pastry and baked of asap. Once you add the sugar, it begins to soften the figs, and they become juicy, so move it along faster than yhou would need to for a pie. So chop the figs, make the filling, and then start small and see how much you can get in there without creating a serving/eating disaster. Allow them plenty of time in the oven — if the pastry is getting brown and done but the filling is not cooked/baked enough, you could lower the heat and let them bake longer — 20 to 40 minutes? If the heat is low the pastry should be fine to go longer. Cakes dry out but pies and galletes and pastries can take some oven time. Please let me know how this goes> I love the idea!
I made this last night and we love it! Thank you for sharing!
What great news, I am so glad to know that you made it and were pleased. It’s the very best with fresh figs, but I usually freeze some this time of year so that I can make a fig pie during the winter, using frozen figs. They will be softer, more juicy, but still wonderful, and since I’ve never seen frozen figs in grocery stores, I like to freeze a small supply of my own.
Happy baking, Jason!
Can you use sun dried figs for this recipe?
Kristin, I have not tried this but have had several readers comment here that they make it with dried figs and get wonderful results. See comments in this thread! It’s on my winter-kitchen to-do list to try that — I even bought the dried figs to do so. But I won’t get to it till later this month and when I do, I will post about it with the details about how I adapted from fresh to dried.
Thanks for this delicious recipe! I used a food processor to chop the figs – mistake! They turned out extremely chopped instead of coarsely chopped….probably why the pie came out runny….or did I not cook it long enough?
I think the issue was the fine chopping in the food processor, which would turn figs into almost a puree, right? While they are soft and juicy, cutting them into large chunks means that they keep their shape but release juices which thicken up with help of that flour-sugar-butter boost. If you cooked the pie for the standard time, then longer cooking wouldn’t really help with this texture situation. I said “very coarsely chopped figs” and I realize now that is not clear enough. I need to specify hand chopping, and suggest that you halve or quarter them, which works well, is simpler and quicker than finer chopping, and will yield a chunky-fruit filling with lots of juicy goodness. My apologies, and I hope you will make it again with good results! Let me know if you do…and thank you for getting in touch. Now to edit the recipe!
This is a solidly delicious pie. In fact, it is so good, I am giving half away because I will eat it all. This may be the most delicious pie I have ever baked. Great recipe. Thank you.
Thank you SO MUCH, Stephanie! I am thrilled and so proud. Thank you for coming here to share this.
I was so happy to find your fig pie recipe. I’m going to make two of your fig pies this weekend but would like to freeze one. Want to use up the amount of fresh figs I have on hand now (you know how they don’t last too long). Have you ever frozen your fig pie? No info on line for freezing specifically fig pie. I’d appreciate your input.
So happy you have this great way to stretch your blessing of fresh figs to enjoy them another day! Yes, you can freeze this pie and with excellent results. Any fresh fruit pie will freeze well == apple, blueberry cherry (ABC and so on down the fresh fruit line, and including fresh fig! (Egg custard pies, cream pies, and meringue crowned pies do not fare well after freezing, but fruits can handle the chill. Two choices: Freeze your filled and crust-enclosed pie before baking, or bake it and freeze it afterward. Either way, fruit pies keep well in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. The experts’ consensus (King Arthur, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Cooks’ Illustrated, etc.)is that freezing an unbaked fruit pie is ideal; their first choice, but almost all good sources agree that freezing a baked fruit pie works very well. I’ve done both and both work well. Since you are baking one for now, it may be easier to bake both and freeze a baked one.IF you are freezing an unbaked pie, Do Not Thaw! Heat the oven, take out frozen pie, unwrap it, and put it right in the oven (add an egg wash now if you want to use one, ; not before freezing). If you bake and freeze, do let it thaw first and then reheat it gently, since it’s already baked. Thaw it on the counter for 3 to 4 hours, or over night in the fridge. For both pies, baked or unbaked, place the unwrapped, yes, unwrapped pie in the freezer for 4 to 6 hours so that it freezes hard. THEN remove it and double wrap it first in layers of plastic wrap, and then with either a layer of foil or slip it in an airtight freezer bag. Stick in an index card with the baking time and temp, type of pie, and date you put it in the freezer so it’s easy to proceed when you are ready to bake. If you froze a baked pie, after it has thawed, cover it loosely with a sheet of foil and put in a 325 oven for 30 minutes. Then test to see if it has warmed through — a sharp knife inserted deep into the center should come out heated up — if not, give it more time. And remove the foil after 15 minutes to it can crisp up and brown a bit. Questions? Let me know how it goes! And check my YouTube channel — I’ve got my fig pie up there along with apple and muscadine grape on the video menu!
I really want to make this, but all I have are dried figs. Is it still possible to do this. They don’t carry fresh figs where I’m from.
You’ve got me thinking, Tanya! I have used dried figs to make my fig pound cake, which is traditionally made with fig preserves of fig jam, not fresh figs. This is a very intriguing idea and I think it is very possible. I’ll work on it /play on it and come back to let you know what I find out. Thank you for this lovely question.
I just made one with dried figs and it is delicious and beautiful.
Wonderful! Thank you for letting us know, Patsy! I would love to know anything you can share about your pie made with dried figs, if you have time to enlighten us. Delicious and beautiful — that’s grand to know.
I’m always looking for ways to use up my figs when the tree is pumping them out almost daily! I dry them, oven roast them, freeze them, until I have the time to figure out what to do with them all! But yesterday I had some fresh ones just sitting there staring at me. And I happened on this recipe. Fig Pie. Fig PIE? I asked myself. Well, what the heck, why not Fig Pie?
This turned out so well! Not only delicious, but pretty, too! I used a bit more figs, about 6 cups for the standard pie dish I used. I was afraid it would sink too much with just the 4 cups. 6 cups worked out perfectly for me, and I followed the recipe after that as far as the amounts of flour and the sugar, (3/4 cup.) I used a fig balsamic, which was wonderful. Next time I might do 1 Tablespoon of the fig balsamic and 1 Tablespoon of regular cider vinegar to give it a bit more “tang.”
Oh my goodness! Thank you for posting this recipe! I don’t know why I never even thought of making a pie from my figs, but I will be keeping this recipe! Served this up with some vanilla ice cream. My hubby is in heaven also!
Laurel, this is so wonderful, thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed your fig pie. I will keep your notes in mind, on more figs, and trying balsamic. I love this pie and sharing it is my pleasure. I make fig jam, too, and a fig cake which is a North Carolina tradition, using preserved figs or fig jam. I adore them and never get enough. Happy cooking!
Do you recommend a partial blind bake for the crust?
It is the best idea, Brittany. It’s not required — I’ve had success with an unbaked piecrust, but it’s good insurance, and means that we can judge doneness by the top and the juicy-ness, rather than trying to guess about doneness in the center. But take care to cover the top edges of the crust so that it remains raw, soft enough to press together with the top crust when it’s time to close up the pie.
Thank you so much for this great recipe! Should I use the figs right after picking? They are not too sweet—but I’m not very familiar with figs. Do I need to let them sit and sweeten, like bananas? Thank you!
Mary I am SO SORRY to be very slow in responding to your question. Your figs are surely gone by now! For future reference, they do not need to ripen any more than they are when you bring them inside. Sweetness can vary with the year/season, and the variety, so a fig might become riper while it sits inside, without becoming a lot sweeter. Ripe meaning softened, tender, moist and almost gooey in the center, contrasting to their state on the tree before they are ripe. VERY firm, though not rock hard, and dry in side. So I’m saying that this pie is fine with figs which are just ripe, all the way to very ripe. You need not hold them to ripen/sweeten if you’re ready for pie, nor do you need to rush if you want to wait a day or two. I’d say they ripen a bit, but not nearly as much as bananas and peaches and avocados do.
Valentina C Dolpies
I have so many figs from my tree that I have to freeze them. Can I use these frozen figs to make this pie. It looks so good.
YES!!! You can use your frozen figs to make this pie. They will work very well. No need to thaw them — prepare everything so that you can take them out of the freezer, toss them with the sugar/spice/flour mixture, put them into the pastry and bake as quickly as possible. Thawing them will release too much liquid —- if they bake from frozen state, the liquid will make a lovely syrup. If you need to trim them or cut them up, do so quickly, straight from the freezer. Big chunks are fine — don’t chop them up too much as they are fragile after freezing. Let me know how it goes! I’m so excited for you!
Do you think I can make these pies and freeze? Should I freeze before baking or after? I have toooooo many figs!!
I like to prepare the pie completely but freeze it before baking. No need to thaw it before baking; simply watch it and expect to add 15 to 20 minutes to baking time due to starting with frozen pie. I think you could also freeze the baked, ready to serve whole pie, but I have not tried it with this pie. I will endeavor to do so, since fig season is NOW and I want to know the answer to your question. But Haylee: I have great news for you regarding Too Many Figs. You can freeze the whole figs! I would trim their little top stems, and then place them on a baking sheet or a plate, close together but not touching single layer. Place in freezer uncoverd, and freeze till they are solidly frozen and hard. Then pull them out, pour the frozen figs into a zip closure bag, press out air, and freeze them. You will have a bag of whole, frozen figs which will not stick together. You can take out 3 for a smoothie addition, or lots for this pie! They will lose their firm texture in the freezing, but their flavor will endure, and a soft texture is great for baking. Use them frozen in this pie. Let me know if you try it! I’m so glad you share my love of FIGS!
Thank you for our tips. I am excited to harvest figs from my tree and try a pie or two!
Please keep me posted — I have a fig tree in the back yard, but it has never born fruit — the wrong kind for this East Coast climate, and in the deep shade. It has HUGE beautiful leaves and I cherish it but must wait for figs to show up in the farmer’s market and at the grocery store. Can’t wait to hear how your fig situation unfolds. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara!
Hi Nancy! I love this recipe and tried it half and half fig and apple to really feel the Summer rolling into Fall thing! I wanted to encourage you to keep watching that fig tree as it matures. We live on the East coast too and I think it helped planting our fig tree next to the compost area. We had so many figs this year I hardly knew what to do with them all, but some years are good and others just meh. Hope your tree surprises you!
Thank you so much for the encouragement, Sarah! I won’t give up on our fig tree, which gives so much beauty with its leaves. And I’ll give it some compost love this fall! I’m going to try your fig and apple combination — what a good idea, and we are moving into fall now so right on time.
Hi, my name is Itzik Lebovich. I made yoiur pie. i like it a lot.
I wonder why you didn’t give us a recipe for the pie doe. May you
please send me your pie doe recipe.
Hello, Itzik Lebovich. I’m SO honored and delighted that you made my pie. And that you liked it: Hooray! So glad. Pie dough recipe? I should have done that, you are right. IF you look at this post now, you will see where I have added two links. One says VIDEO and that shows you a piecrust making video, short and fun and impressibve. Also another link near it shows the recipe and the chef making the pie dough. I hope these are helpful to you! Please let me know what you think!
Can’t wait to try this. I collected 8 cups of figs today. I have not had much.luck finding recipes using fresh figs. So Thanks. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I still have loads more figs to pick as they ripen.
8 cups? This is SO WONDERFUL!!! What great news. I will share some more fig recipes. Remember that you can freeze whole figs and then use them later to make jam or for baking. Just don’t thaW them out before you use them. Use them frozen, chopping them up fast and getting them into the oven quickly. Or the pot. Does this make sense? Can you freeze some for winger?
Thank you SO MUCH for including my fig pie in this lovely and TIMELY round up of fruit pies. It’s such a treat to have today and I’m thrilled to be in there. Happy Thanksgiving!